Seven Servings a Day

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How much fruit and vegetables do you eat? That question came to the fore after a large British study found that eating seven or more portions daily would make us live longer.

University College London researchers used the Health Survey for England, which collects data on more than 65,000 men and women. It showed the more fruit and vegetables people ate, the less likely they were to die – at any age.

Seven servings a day or more cut the risk of dying from all causes by 42%. It was also associated with a 25% lower risk of cancer and 31% lower risk of heart disease or stroke. Vegetables seemed to offer significantly more protection against disease than fruit.On the other hand, fruit juice conferred no benefit, while canned fruit appeared to increase the risk of death – possibly because it is stored in sugary syrup.

Current British guidelines only recommend 5 portions a day, but the Canada Food Guide already advises Zoomers 51 and over to eat 7 daily servings. What’s a serving: Half a cup of beans, broccoli, or carrots, 1 cup of lettuce or Mesclun mix, half a cup of berries, melon or avocado.

It all adds up to better health.



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